Software

Office challenge: What's the quickest way to name a range in Excel?

This week, learn how to protect a PowerPoint presentation and share your knowledge on Excel.
Ranges are a powerful feature in Excel. I often wonder how I'd get my work done without them. To name a range, you probably select the appropriate cells and choose Name from the Insert menu. But there's a much easier way -- do you know it? Last week we asked… How can you keep others from changing a PowerPoint presentation? Many of you shared how to password-protect a presentation, but Fmfcouto was the first to mention that you can set two passwords, one to open the presentation and a second to modify the presentation. This way, you get a double layer of protection. You can give others permission to open the presentation so they can view it or perhaps even present it, but they can't change anything once it's open without that second password. Protecting the presentation is easy:

  1. From the Tools menu, choose Options and then click the Security tab. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Office button,  choose Save As, and select PowerPoint Presentation. In the resulting Save As dialog box, click the Tools button (at the bottom-left). From the Tools list, choose General Options.
  2. Enter a password to open the file.
  3. Enter a password to modify the file. I recommend that you not use the same password for both opening and modifying the presentation.
  4. Click OK.
  5. PowerPoint will prompt you to re-enter (confirm) both passwords.
  6. Save the presentation.

Anyone who needs to view the file will need that first password to open it. PowerPoint will then prompt the user for the second password. Instruct users to click Read Only instead of entering a second password. PowerPoint won't apply security to every file format. For instance, if you save the presentation as a Web page, PowerPoint will not retain password security. When you try to save the new format, PowerPoint will display a warning -- you can save the file in the new format; you just can't password-protect the file. You can also password-protect a presentation you package using the Pack And Go feature as follows:

  1. To initiate the packaging process, choose Package To CD from the File menu. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Office button and choose Publish in the left pane.
  2. When PowerPoint displays the Package For CD dialog box, click the Options button.
  3. Enter the passwords in the Help Protect The PowerPoint Files section.
  4. Click OK and confirm the passwords.

There's a lot more to packaging your presentation, but that's how to secure the package. Thanks to everyone who took part in last week's challenge. What's challenging you this week?

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

15 comments
stapleb
stapleb

Highlight the range to be named - if the range is empty, drag to highlight, if the entire range contains data, from within the range, press Ctrl Shift * to highlight it. Either click in the "Name Box" at the top left of the Reference Area, or press Ctrl + F3 (thanks to jbentone for that one!), type the name, remembering that range names CANNOT contain spaces, and now the step no one has mentioned - press Enter to complete the naming.

amanda.tapac
amanda.tapac

Hope you can help me Thanks Amanda

dhays
dhays

According to help in Acrobat PRo 9, there are several levels of security. It depends on what you want to do--keep someone from editing your document or someone from opening it, or specific people only. This is a quote from the help file: "Important: Complete, updated Help is on the web. For a complete version of this topic, click the links below or search complete help at community.adobe.com/help." http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Acrobat/9.0/3D/WSD012A4E1-51D1-4bcd-BA9F-EF03C6F20BB6.html is titled "Securing documents with passwords " I hope that helps some.

vjanecky
vjanecky

I usually go the route mentioned above using the name box. Another variation would be to highlight the range then right click choose 'name a range' type the name and click ok. This works pretty slick if you have headers because it automatically assigns the header as the name of the range. However, it also includes the header in the detail so if your named range in a drop down list the header would be there.

sbsinc
sbsinc

Easy, highlight the range you want to name, then click in the cel identifier box to the left of the formular bar and type the name of the range you wish to use.

ronberkley
ronberkley

Select the cells/rows/columns to be named, then type the name in the name box.

smhodge
smhodge

From the menu select Insert, Name. Name your range. then in the Refers to enter your range (Sheet1!$A$1:$A$55), click ok. Beats dragging the cursor around. Also allows for future entries in range.

mfoster
mfoster

Select the range then click up in the location that tells you your active cell and type the name of the range.

Les.Abnett
Les.Abnett

You didn't say how to do the task.... You went on to describe the previous week.... How useless!!

michael_boardman
michael_boardman

That's why the rest of the post explained how to deal with last week's challenge.

mandeepmehta
mandeepmehta

select your range and in the name box enter the name for the range

richard.moore4
richard.moore4

The quickest way to name a range in Excel is as follows: * Select the range. One cell will be highlighted as the active cell. * At the top, left corner of the screen, the Name Box will display the name of the active cell. Click the Name Box. * Type the name of the range.

jbenton
jbenton

?press ctrl-F3 to bring up the define name dialogue box; also hady if you want to use this to define a formula or define multiple ranges

Marshwiggle
Marshwiggle

... since the challenge was to come up w/ the QUICKEST way, keyboard beats mouse every time.

daneke
daneke

This applies to all Excel versions. Remember names can have no spaces and cannot be a cell reference (A1)

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